Cape Town Stadium hosted an entertaining PSL encounter on Tuesday night, as Ajax Cape Town and Sundowns played to a compelling 2-2 draw
Played in cold and wet conditions, the game’s first goal was found early in the second half when Bongani Zungu beat Brandon Petersen with a clinical low effort from inside the area.
Minutes later, the home side were on equal terms, as Keagan Dolly defeated Kennedy Mweene at his near post with a low strike which the keeper bundled into the back of the net.
The Urban Warriors may have been lucky to be awarded a controversial penalty in the 66th minute, but Lebogang Manyama’s clinical spot-kick carved out a slim lead for the home side.
Sundowns searched for an equaliser and were rewarded, as Cuthbert Malajila struck back from close range with 81 minutes on the clock.
A star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns started the match with the opportunity to surge to the summit of the PSL standings if they picked up the three points against an injury-ravaged Urban Warriors squad.
However, it was former Sundowns striker Eleazar Rodgers who had the first opportunity of the night, as Lebogang Manyama curled a cross into the path of the forward, whose attempt to deflect the ball with an outstretched leg past Kennedy Mweene ended safely in the keeper’s grasp.
Both sides enjoyed the fast passing conditions, which contributed to an end-to-end affair during the opening stages of the first half.
As the rain began to stream into the Cape Town stadium, the first half action was also slightly dampened as neither side created clear-cut chances until Billiat found the target once again in the 37th minute.
Wome collected a long ball with and set-up the Zimbabwean with a neat pass, but Billiat’s low strike lacked enough power and precision to beat Peterson.
Billiat’s chance was followed by a period of domination by the home side, which saw Lebogang Manyama distinguish himself in attack as he won a promising free-kick for Urban Warriors in the40th minute. Bantu Mzawkali stepped up to try beat Mweene from 20 yards out, firing his curling effort onto the crossbar in the process.
A closely-contested first half ended goalless, with the home side edging proceedings during the opening 45 minutes.
The beginning of the second half shifted the game into Sundowns’ favour, as the visitors piled on the pressure and finally found the back of net, when Bongani Zungu profited from some poor defence from the Urban Warriors and struck a low shot past a sprawling Petersen in the 51st minute.
However, Sundowns did not celebrate for long, as Keagan Dolly somehow beat Mweene at the near post with a powerful drive which the keeper failed to deal with, allowing the ball to deflect off his arms and into the back of the net.
In a frenzied period of attacking football, Sundowns almost regained the lead but Ajax survived, as Billiat crashed an effort onto the crossbar in the 58th minute.
The exhilarating match did not abate and Ajax were awarded a controversial penalty with 66 minutes on the clock, when Nathan Paulse was seemingly brought down by Alje Schut in the area. Lebogang Manyama made no mistake in burying the spot-kick and suddenly the home side had fought their way back into the lead.
Sundowns would not be denied their equaliser as the second half moved to a close, despite some heroic saves from Petersen. The keeper was on hand to deny efforts from Henyekane and Zungu, but Cuthbert Malajila scored from close range to put the visitors back on equal terms.
Billiat and Manyama traded excellent chances to earn their sides a lead, and a winner seemed destined to occur in a rollicking last ten minutes of the match. However, neither side took their chances and the match ended in a draw, moving Sundowns onto eight points from four games, while Ajax earn just their second point of the season and remain in the relegation zone.